Cauda Equina Syndrome is a rare but serious form of spinal cord injury related to the compression of nerve roots (cauda equina) in the lower portion of the spinal canal. Spinal cord injuries such as CES can happen in many different ways. No matter how the injury occurs, though, quick diagnosis is critical to preventing permanent damage.
Symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome
Cauda Equina Syndrome typically presents with one or more of the following symptoms:
- Loss of bladder control
- Loss of sensation in legs, hands and feet
- Weakness or numbness in lower extremities
- Inability to have a bowel movement
- Inability to walk or move about with a normal gate
As a Florida medical malpractice attorney, Lisa S. Levine, PA, helps clients who have suffered through this condition as the result of as the result of negligence by a doctor or other medical professional. This negligence can include a failure to diagnose and treat a patient correctly or a failure to correctly perform a medical procedure.
What Are Some Causes of Cauda Equina Syndrome?
CES After Epidural Injections
Lumbar epidural injections can be a very effective means of managing lower back pain when properly administered by an anesthesiologist. When not performed properly, however, the procedure can lead to permanent and serious injury, including Cauda Equina Syndrome.
The injections can cause injuries when the needle isn’t place into the right level, or the material being injected causes compression to the cauda equina nerve that isn’t noticed or evacuated in a timely fashion.
CES and Post-operative Hematoma
Another of the causes of Cauda Equina Syndrome is related to complications from spinal surgery, including a post-operative hematoma. This refers to the localized collection of blood outside the blood vessels, usually within the tissue.
A patient may be doing well after surgery then suddenly become unable to urinate or have a bowel movement, or experience numbness or tingling. This can be an indicator of Cauda Equina Syndrome related to post-operative hematoma. While the development of a post-operative hematoma is not necessarily the result of negligence, if your doctor fails to diagnose and treat the condition in a timely manner, it can be a mistake that causes patients serious harm.
CES and Herniated Disc
A herniated disc refers to a medical problem with the cushions between vertebrae that help form the spine. If a disc herniation leads to Cauda Equina Syndrome, there is a very short window of time for medical staff to address the problem.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cauda Equina Syndrome
CES patients who have surgery within six hours of symptoms beginning have the best chance at avoiding severe and permanent complications. Unfortunately, surgery is often delayed more than 48 hours. If the delay is the result of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, then the patient may be able to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Many factors affect the amount of compensation you might be able to recover, including the patient’s age and marital status, whether the patient has children, and the extent of long-term injuries the patient is suffering.
Read more about the factors affecting CES compensation amounts.
A misdiagnosis for Cauda Equina Syndrome is the worst thing that could happen to a person afflicted with this condition. Unfortunately, the early symptoms of CES are often similar to of conditions, such as sciatica, Fibromyalgia, and arachnoiditis.
Read more about common misdiagnoses of Cauda Equina Syndrome.
Cauda Equina Syndrome is a rare condition affecting the human lumbar system when the bundle of nerves located at the bottom of the spinal cord become compressed. In the U.S., it is estimated that 1-3% of patients who have undergone or are undergoing lumbar surgery are due to complications of CES. Other studies estimate that CES occurs in one out of every 33,000 individuals to one out of every 100,000.
Read more about how rare Cauda Equina Syndrome is.
Get Help with Cauda Equina Syndrome Malpractice Case
If your doctor fails to accurately assess the causes of Cauda Equina Syndrome and provide treatment, or if you suffer the condition after an improperly performed procedure, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Lisa S. Levine, PA, is a nationwide expert in CES cases and a Cauda Equina Syndrome litigation attorney in Florida. She has handled and consulted on more than 60 cases across the U.S., including in New Jersey, Utah, California, Wisconsin, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, New York and Texas. In Florida, she has helped CES patients throughout the state, including in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Ocala.
Call (954) 256-1820 today to schedule a free consultation and get the help you deserve.